101 Years

FKGuy with Grandma Annabelle at her 100th birthday party.
FKGuy with Grandma Annabelle at her 100th birthday party.

This weekend, we lost FKGuy’s grandmother, or as she was affectionately known to all of us, “Gram” or “Granny“. She was 101 years old, and got to enjoy meeting her first great-grandchild a few months ago. 

Things moved a bit slower 101 years ago, but there were many notable happenings, including:

  • The “new” rebuilt Grand Central Station opened as world’s largest railroad station, and still maintains the most platforms of any station.
  • The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, authorizing the collection of income taxes.
  • The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen was finished, and still attracts thousands of visitors each year.

In 1913, a dozen eggs cost 30¢, a movie ticket 7¢, and women could not vote. (That didn’t happen until 1919, so by the time Grandma Annabelle was old enough, she could, in fact, vote.)

Grandma Annabelle was spunky when I met her at the young age of eighty, and visited us when we lived in New York, and several times while living in Florida. She took bus trips to New York (where the grudge against Sarabeth’s began. Read more on that here.) She came to Florida on her own. She gave us the most delicious – ever – brisket recipe, which came from her mother, and no-fail sweet and sour meatballs.

I will never forget her retelling the story of when she was born. The doctor came to deliver the baby, but her mother was not ready. Rather than hang around with a woman in labor, the doctor went downstairs to play cards with the men. He gave her mother a shoe, and told her to drop the shoe on the floor when the baby was coming, and he would come back. She was born after the shoe drop. (And I will tell you, it was much funnier when she told the story, even for the 20th time.)

I will continue to think of happy thoughts and memories (like the band leader at our wedding serenading her, and she looking at him like he was nuts – that was priceless), especially when it is time to make a brisket, or sweet and sour meatballs.


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